NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 5/27/15

TV Alert: Natasha Leggero, Doug Benson,
and Tom Lennon are on @midnight

Myq Kaplan and Ted Alexandro

Two of the finest stand-ups alive perform tonight: Myq Kaplan at Train Wreck Stand-Up and I Don’t Get It, and Ted Alexandro at Week at the Creek

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 5:30 pm: The spectacular Christine Bullen (stellar character comic; sketch group Goodbye Handsome, one-woman show My Melonbasket), Jon Bander, Alan Starzinski, and many more perform funny characters at UCB East to appear in Montreal’s prestigious comedy festival: Just for Laughs Character Auditions

[FREE] 6:00 pm-midnight: Six free hours of improvisation—including Julie Sharbutt & Langston Belton as duoCoyote at 7:00 pm, and PIT owner Ali Farahnakian & friends at 10:25 pm—at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.) tries out new material every night this week at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City:Week at the Creek: Ted Alexandro

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): There’s little as fun as great stories about bad dates. Aiming for greatness tonight are Gaby Moss, Alex English, Brian Kennedy, Sydnee Washington, and Robyn Schall sharing their tales of failed love at The Bitter End (147 Bleecker Street) hosted by Jessie Male & Emi Soekawa: Bad Date, Great Story

7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the entire evening): Four hours of improv from eight groups—plus a free improv jam at 6:00 pm—at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

7:00 pm ($5): Improvisors interview audience members about their first time experiencing something (e.g., kissing, eating chocolate, having sex) and then make up scenes about it at The PIT downstairs lounge: Big Time Virgins: Your First Time

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm ($20 plus 2-drink min.): Mark Normand (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country;Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It; opens for Amy Schumer), Sheng Wang (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Emma Willmann, and more performing stand-up at the Carolines Comedy Club sponsored by Time Out New York: TONY Stand-Up: Mark Normand and More

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the long form improv showcased on UCB Chelsea’s Harold Night is this weekly show of house groups at the UCB East theatre: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Dave Attell, Ari Shaffir, Gregg Rogell, Dan Soder, Nikki Glaser, Jessica Kirson, Rachel Feinstein, Sam Morril, Pete Davidson, Zainab Johnson, Damien Lemon, Dov Davidoff, and Sherrod Small, with all shows at Comedy Cellar(117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except for the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Strong lineup of Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs Small, Dork, and Handsome, Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with a delightfully wry style and lightning-quick mind; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central’s Meltdown, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, Totally Biased, opens for Tig Notaro), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Kevin McCaffrey (writer for David Letterman; TruTV), Sheng Wang (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased), Henry Cruz, Muhshin Khan, and Britton performing stand-up at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street) produced by Henry Cruz & Keith Fuerstenberg and hosted tonight by Keith Fuerstenberg: Train Wreck Stand-Up: Myq Kaplan, Aparna Nancherla, Dan Soder, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): One of the finest comedic storytelling shows in the country, in which sharp writer/performers—Ophira Eisenberg, Jim O’Grady, Peter Aguero, Catie Lazarus, and wonderful host Dave Martin—tell tales that are honest and hilarious, with tonight’s theme Money, at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Nights of Our Lives

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 at the door or $11.59 online): Storytellers Sara Benincasa, David Crabb, Jeffrey Joseph, Jillian Lauren, and Sandi Marx telling true tales about their school days at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Blaise Allysen Kearsley: How I Learned to Make the Grade

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-up from Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs Small, Dork, and Handsome, Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City), Leah Bonnema (VH1, WeTV’s Cinematherapy, Logo, Opie & Anthony’s Virus Channel), Anthony P. DeVito, and Ashley Morris, plus improv from groups Three Piece Bikini andPin-Up Squirrels, all performing at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A) produced by Gary Levitt & Matt Schwartzer and hosted by Jonathan McBride: I Don’t Get It: Myq Kaplan, Nick Vatterott, and More

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Claudia Cogan, John Saponaro, Eric Neumann, Brad Austin, and Cameron Vannini performing for this free weekly stand-up show at the East Village’s Beauty Bar (231 East 14th Street, between Second and Third Avenues) produced by Becky Yamamoto, Kendra Cunningham, Jackie Jax, and Negin Farsad: Comedy School Dropout

8:00 pm ($5): Sketches revolving around a monthly theme (not announced) at The PIT downstairs lounge: Thee Come Playlist

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City typically hosted by Peggy O’Leary: Creek Cave Live

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Sharp stand-ups Nick Griffin, Brian Scolaro, Naomi Ekperigin, Andy Sandford, David Feldman, Betsy Carroll, and Lindsay Bengel performing at the only comedy club in the East Village, hosted by Scott Rogowsky: Eastville Comedy Club

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Kevin McCaffrey (writer for David Letterman; TruTV), Abbi Crutchfield, Luke Thayer, Vladimir Caamano, Ryan Schutt, Alexis Guerreros, and Jonathan Morvay performing at this free weekly stand-up show atLucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

[TOP PICK] 9:15 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East hosted by Doug Mo and/or Ben Rameaka: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

9:30 pm ($5): Alingon Mitra (Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing), Aaron Glaser (Jimmy Fallon, Wolf of Wall Street; host of Midnight Stand-Up), Justin Perez, Liz Magee, and Joe Fernandez performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Griffin Newman, Alejandro Kolleeny, and/or Andrew Tavin: The Awooga Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($5 online using discount code GRIFT; no min.): Nick DiPaolo (star stand-up, with numerous appearances on David Letterman, Jay Leno, Louie; Emmy-nominated comedy writer, talk show host), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Alingon Mitra (Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing), Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!), and Mike Cannon performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Mike Finoia: Nick DiPaolo, Jessica Kirson, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City typically hosted by Peggy O’Leary: Creek Cave Live

[TOP PICK] 10:15 pm ($5): Brilliant comics Gavin Speiller & Anthony Atamanuik perform duo improv for 45 minutes while aiming to take you around the globe via the UCB East theatre: Gavin & Anthony Show You The World

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with a delightfully wry style and lightning-quick mind; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central’s Meltdown, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, Totally Biased, opens for Tig Notaro), Joe Pera (hilarious and genius deadpan stand-up; Comedy Central, Adult Swim; for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here; for Joe’s latest Kaufman awards submissions, please click here and here), Joe Rumrill, and Joe Gerics perform stand-up, and the cast of The Annoyance Theatre’s Holy Fuck Comedy Hour perform sketch, at the Treehouse Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor) hosted by Whalen & Alex McKelvey: Comfy Seminar: Aparna Nancherla, Joe Pera, and More

Wednesday Open Mics & Jams

5:00 pm ($5): Two-hour open mic for 20 stand-ups performing for 5 minutes each, with sign-up online here, at theStand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Kaity Neagle & Irene Hartmann: Ragtag Team Open Mic Stand-Up

6:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 2 1/2 hours. Arrive 30 minutes before the show to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Sign up at 5:45 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with veteran improvisors:Magnet Improv Mixer

10:15 pm ($5): Randomly selected UCBT students perform with UCBT improv veterans at the UCB East theatre: The Lottery

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show, with each comic whose name is selected from a bucket getting on stage for 3 1/2 minutes, at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Benel Germosen:Chocolate Wednesday

11:00 pm ($3): Open mic stand-up show, with each comic whose name is selected from a bucket getting on stage for 3-5 minutes (depending on the number of comics) at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Jenn Welch & Will Neville:The Guilt Trip

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your chance to perform on stage with experienced improvisors at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Bernard Maynore: Improdome

[FREE] 11:15 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house group Bucky and DJ Cipha Sounds: The Improv Jam

Best Inexpensive Stand-Up, Improv, Sketch, and Storytelling

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; shows free-$10; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seat main theatre, bar area for open mics; shows free-$10)

The PIT
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seat upstairs theatre, 40-seat downstairs theatre; shows free-$20)

The Magnet
(254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; shows $5-$10)

The Creek and the Cave
(Queens’ Long Island City; 40-seat theatre upstairs, 25 downstairs; virtually all shows free)

The Annoyance Theatre
(367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer; 50-seat theatre; shows free-$10)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

Comedy Cellar
(117 MacDougal Street; among the finest daily stand-up lineups in the world; 2-item min.)

The Stand
(239 Third Avenue; recent competitor to Comedy Cellar; no drink min.—support this policy!)

Carolines Comedy Club
(1626 Broadway; focuses on the world’s top headliners, who perform hour-long sets; 2-drink min.)

Gotham Comedy Club
(208 West 23rd Street; headliners on weekends, specialty & lineup shows weekdays; 2-drink min.)

Eastville Comedy Club
(85 East 4th Street; strong weekend lineups; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.)

Greenwich Village Comedy Club
(99 MacDougal Street; convenient if Comedy Cellar’s sold out; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.)

Comic Strip Live
(1568 Second Avenue, off 81st; Upper East Side club with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

Stand Up NY
(236 West 78th Street, off Broadway; Upper West Side club with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

Laughing Devil/The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; free cover Fri-Sat with code LICVIP; 2-drink min.)

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible BestNewYorkComedy.com. He is literally the only person in NYC providing daily summaries of what’s happening comedy-wise. It must be exhausting keeping that monster of a website alive…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, hire me for book or screenplay work, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.

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